SpaceX, the Hawthorne-based rocket company that has a contract to supply the International Space Station, successfully completed a parachute test for it's planned crew-carrying capsule.
The test was carried out over the Pacific Ocean near Morro Bay in December, but not announced by NASA until last week.
SpaceX has a $440 million contract from NASA to develop a version of its Dragon capsule that can carry up to seven astronauts to the space station.
The 12,000-pound test craft was lifted 8,000 feet above sea level by a helicopter and flown over the Pacific. Following Dragon's release, two drogue parachutes were released from the top of the spacecraft to slow its decent, before the three main parachutes deployed.
The craft splashed down and was successfully recovered by the helicopter and carried back to shore.